Video Archive 2015

View lectures, presentations, and more from the ELC from 2015:


"Early Bird Session: TMDLs for Dummies"

Friday, October 23, 2015​

Professor Patrick Parenteau, Vermont Law School


"Welcoming Remarks"

Friday, October 23, 2015​

Joseph R. Simpson, VJEL Editor-in-Chief
Dean Mark Latham, Vermont Law School


"Morning Keynote: After the TMDLs"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Dave Owen, Professor of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law


"American Farm Bureau v. EPA: Protecting the Chesapeake"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Moderated by Professor John Echeverria Panelists:
Jon A. Mueller, Vice President for Litigation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Richard E. Schwartz, Partner, Crowell & Moring
Nina Bell, Executive Director, Northwest Environmental Advocates
Mary Jane Angelo, Professor of Law, Alumni Research Scholar, and Director, Environmental and Land Use Law Program University of Florida Levin College of Law


"Cutting Edge Litigation I: Exploring the Gulf of Mexico and Toxics in Washington State"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Moderated by Professor Jack Tuholske Panelists:
Richard A. Smith, Managing Partner, Smith & Lowney, PLLC
Richard E. Schwartz, Partner, Crowell & Moring
Matt Rota, Senior Policy Director, Gulf Restoration Network


Afternoon Keynote: "Searching for the Missing, a CWA Story"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Oliver Houck, Professor of Law, Tulane University Law School


"The Lake Champlain TMDL"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Moderated by Professor Laurie Ristino Panelists:
Deborah Markowitz, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
Chuck Ross, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets
Stephen Perkins, Aquatic Ecosystems Program Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region I—New England
Chris Kilian, Vice President and Director, Conservation Law Foundation Vermont
David Mears, Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at VLS and former Commissioner of Vermont Dep’t. of Environmental Conservation


"Cutting Edge Litigation II: Agricultural Tile Drains and the Effectiveness of TMDLs"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Moderated by Professor Laura Murphy​ Panelists:
Charlie Tebbutt, Law Offices of Charles M. Tebbutt, P.C.
Debora K. Kristensen, Partner, Givens Pursley, LLP
Jerry Anderson, Richard M. and Anita Calkins Distinguished Professor of Law, Drake University Law School
Chris Kilian, Vice President and Director, Conservation Law Foundation Vermont
Mark James,Global Energy Fellow in the Institute for Energy and the Environment, LL.M in Energy Law Candidate 2016


“Still a Paper Tiger? China’s Environmental Courts in the Wake of the 2014 Amendments to China’s Basic Environmental Law”​​

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Huiyu Zhao, Shanghai Jiaotong University


There is a broad consensus that chronic problems with enforcement of China’s environmental laws have been due in part to the lack of an independent judiciary in China. This presentation will explore why China’s judiciary still must overcome many obstacles before it truly can achieve the promise of China’s new Environmental Protection Law.​


​“Environmental Law in ‘The Last Place on Earth’”​

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Robert Percival, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law


This lecture will review how well the unique legal regime to protect the Antarctic environment is working. It will discuss the difficulty of taking enforcement action against transgressors, as illustrated by controversies over Japanese whaling in Antarctica and the recent confrontation between the New Zealand navy and a criminal fishing enterprise. The lecture will compare and contrast the legal regime that governs protection of Antarctica’s environment with that applicable to the Arctic, where there has been a rush to exploit polar oil resources.​


"The Next Legal Profession: Lawyers Creating Sustainable Local Economies​"

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Janelle Orsi, Sustainable Economies Law Center


At the rate that humans are disrupting ecosystems and widening the wealth gap, the world needs nothing short of one million lawyers to shift the focus of their work to supporting the development of land trusts, cooperatives, and a variety of projects and enterprises that build just, equitable, and sustainable economies. As every community reinvents its systems for accessing food, energy, goods, water, housing, and transportation, lawyers—and particularly transactional lawyers—will play a key role in developing the legal blueprint for the next economy.


"Will the U.S. Constitution Inhibit the Transition to Sustainable Energy That Many States Are Implementing?​"​

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Steven Ferrey, Suffolk University Law School


There have been almost 20 suits contesting the constitutionality of state energy regulation or sustainable energy incentives, raising either the Supremacy Clause or the Commerce Clause of the Constitution or both; federal courts are ruling illegal most of the challenged regulations that proceed to judgment. This presentation will work through legal challenges to the entire state ‘toolbox’ of Renewable Portfolio Standards, net metering, and feed-in-tariffs, and how states could best achieve a sustainable outcome.​


"Should We Pay More For Water? Untangling California's Drought-Ridden Future"​

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Zoë Schlanger, Newsweek


The California drought, now in its fourth year, has turned national attention on the rarely thought-about dynamics of water supply and demand. Facing a much-drier future— scientists predict mega-droughts to hit the west in the next 50 years—California may have to radically readjust its relationship to water. This talk will explore the ethics and politics of the current crisis, and hypothetical solutions.


"On the Road to the Paris Agreement: COP21 and Its Impact on Climate Change​"

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Tracy Bach, Vermont Law School


The 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are poised to commit to a new way of acting globally and nationally to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts. Wondering what an INDC is? The ADP? CDM+ and REDD+? This presentation not only demystifies the acronyms you’ll read as the climate change negotiations in December draw near, but it also puts the historic nature of the Paris meeting into context.


"Solar Wars"

​Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Timothy McDonnell, Mother Jones and Climate Desk


Solar power is taking off at breakneck speed, which is great news for climate advocates and the clean energy industry, but an unprecedented challenge to the hegemony of the powerful utility industry. Across the country, utilities are pushing back with legislative opposition to solar, often with the support of conservative groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council. Who will prevail in the solar wars?


"Living Next to a Wind Turbine: Local Vs Global Interests​"

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Birgitte Egelund Olsen, Aarhus University, Denmark


How would you like to live next to a wind farm? Does it affect the environment; would it have an impact on health and your quality of life? The achievement of political targets on the increased share of renewable energy—and in particular wind energy—is facing serious impediments due to local opposition. This lecture examines the role of law in addressing local concerns towards wind energy projects, providing a Danish comparison.​


"The Past, Present, and Future of Drinking Water"​

​Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: James Salzman, Duke University


With concerns over pollution and fracking, is it safe to drink tap water? Should we feel guilty buying bottled water? Is the water we drink vulnerable to terrorist attacks? With springs running dry and reservoirs emptying, where is our water going to come from in the future? Drinking water highlights the most pressing issues of our time—from globalization and social justice to terrorism and climate change—and how humans have been wrestling with these problems for centuries.


“Sanitation Law and Policy in India: Multiple Challenges​”

​Thursday, June 11 , 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: Philippe Cullet, University of London; Centre for Policy Research; International Environmental Law Research Centre


Sanitation is a crucial challenge in India where the largest number of people practicing open defecation is found. The realization of the human right to sanitation includes not only access to toilets, but also implementing wastewater treatment and purifying drinking water sources.


"Legal Signal Processing”

​Thursday, June 4, 2015

Hot Topics in Environmental Law presents: James Chen, Michigan State University


The President’s unilateral power to declare a federal disaster under the Stafford Act invites political manipulation. Fourier analysis of disaster declarations from 1953 to 2013 confirms the presence of a four-year cycle, peaking in presidential election years and reaching its trough in years immediately following an election.


"It Takes a Village​​​​"​

​Friday, May 15, 2015

40th Commencement Honorary Degree Recipient Lecture: Kim Wasserman, Director, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization


Kimberly Wasserman grew up in the Chicago neighborhood of Little Village, the same community where she currently lives and works. As a grassroots activist and coordinator for the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, she led local residents in a successful campaign to shut down two of the country's oldest and dirtiest coal plants — and is now transforming Chicago's old industrial sites into parks and multi-use spaces. Empowering Little Village community members has been the highlight of her career. "They have been able to realize they do not need politicians, that they have the skills and talents to take action on their own. One person says, we can fix it and they do it." Building a sound organization of people that work well together towards the same goal has been her most significant achievement to date. Kimberly Wasserman defines advocacy; for the world and the community. It is our pleasure to announce Kimberly Wasserman as a 2015 Honorary Degree recipient and honorary degree lecturer for 2015.​​


"Hope is a River"​

​Thursday, April 23, 2015

2015 Earth Week Speaker: Bob Irvin, President & CEO, American Rivers​


America has gone from an era in which every river was seen as something to be dammed, diverted, or destroyed, to a new era of river restoration. Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers, the nation’s leading conservation group working to protect and restore rivers, will discuss this transformation, telling stories of hope about river protection and restoration as well as the challenges ahead.​​